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Do You Hear as I Say?

RevaBeth Russell -- Lehi High School

Using this exercise, students will better their listening skills.

The ability to listen and follow instructions is vital. When Apollo 13 needed another oxygen scrubber, the astronauts had to carefully follow instructions. They could not see what they needed to do, or what the finished product would look like. They had to listen. This is a hands on activity that allow students to practice their listening skills. The students will carefully listen and follow the instructions on how to fold a piece of paper into an open box.

-- 8 x 11 1/2" paper (use scrap paper, recycle your copy room mistakes)
-- flat surface,
-- "Instructions for a Box" (follows)

This can be recorded on a tape and played back at the beginning of class as a "get ready" activity for about 5 minutes each day until a certain number of students achieve success. Using one block of time, and several readings, it takes about 20 minutes.

Read to the students or tape record the "Instructions for a Box." Do not let the students know what they will be making. Inform them that they are to listen and follow each step of the instructions. Reread if needed, but don't demonstrate or point out who is right. If you tape it, the tape can be played each period while roll is being taken. It would be played each day without rewinding until a certain percentage that you want reaches competency. If you tape it, make sure your instructions are given slow enough to manipulate and fold the paper.


  1. Use this to the hold items you keyed out and, classified (nuts, screws,bolts).
  2. Make them a size that will hold a liter or have students figure out how big of a paper is needed to fold to make a liter box.
  3. I use as a box to hold the popcorn for each of them when we watch a video.
  4. Math skill could be used to figure out how big a piece of paper needs to be to make box be one liter, or 500 ml.
  5. Boxes could be made and stacked to illustrate how much milk a cow produces or how much water is used to produce one hamburger.


Instructions for a box

Place your paper in front of you so that it is taller than it is wide. This is a vertical position. Now, place your paper in front of you so it is wider than it is tall. This is called horizontal. Fold the left and right sides in so that the paper is evenly divided into thirds. This kind of a fold is often used to fold business letters into an envelope. Crease the folds, and open the paper back out. You should now have the paper in a horizontal position, with three sections of paper with two vertical folds. In the middle of the middle section draw a large happy face and also write your name there.

Write the letter A in the top left corner of your paper. Write the letter B on the bottom left. Write the letter C on the top right corner, and the letter D on the bottom right corner. On the top left fold write the letter E and at the bottom of that same fold write F. On the top right crease write the letter G and at the bottom of that fold write H.

Take the AB side and fold it over to to the EF fold and crease. Open it back up. Label this crease 1 at the top and bottom.Take the CD side and fold it over to the GH fold, crease and reopen. Label this crease 2, top and bottom. Now you should have four folds on the paper.

Rewrite all of the letters on the reverse side of the paper, so they will be visible. Make sure that where A is on one side, the A is on the reverse side, exactly at the same spot. This will continue until all of letters and numbers are exactly the same on both sides of the paper. Turn your paper to the original side. Reverse the two new creases (1 and 2) so the ends go outwards.

The paper should then look like two tents with the flat part of the paper between them. Take side AB to the GH fold, so it is over the middle section. This will cover the happy face. Now, with the left section folded over, fold over corner where E is written, to the center of this section, which is is crease 1. This will form a right angle triangle. Next, fold over corner F to crease 1, just like before. Now fold corners A and B, like you did with corners E and F. Fold the section marked AB to the outside edge, keeping the corners folded in, covering the EF side. (The AB side will be on the left top side.)Your paper will now have two "clipped" corners on the left side and two regular right angle corners on the right.

You will repeat the last set of corner folds only this time use the right third of the paper so that the right edge will look like the left. To do this take side CD and fold it over the middle to fold EF, meeting the part we just folded. This will completely cover the visible part of the happy face. Fold over corner G to fold 2 to form a right angle triangle. Repeat with corner H to crease 2. Do the other end, by folding corners C and D to make the other triangles. Fold the section marked CD to the outside edge, covering the GH side. Your paper will now have four "clipped" corners. Another way to describe this is it will have six corners and six sides. Or a square with two large triangles on the ends. There will be an opening where you might be able to see the happy face or your name.

Fold in and crease at the base of both large triangle ends. Relax the folds. You will open the box by reaching into the center of the opening with your two index fingers. Gently pull out to the right and left. Straighten out the creases to make box corners.

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